Archive for the 'παιδευω' Category

Higher Education in Japan Today…Here’s what it sounds like

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Just in case you were wondering, I made some recordings this afternoon after my third-period class.
Outside the Humanities Building (468 KB MP3).
Inside a first-floor classroom inside the Annex opposite Hum (616 KB MP3).
Second-floor classroom inside the Annex (728 KB MP3)
Outside again, further away than first recording! (276 KB MP3)
And the absolute worst: outside the first-floor […]

Making the Lawson’s help cry

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

I’ve got an amusing(?) little anecdote to share with you all, but can’t post it until after Thursday.
(My printer in the office was on the futz Thursday and I couldn’t print out my handouts, so I had to come up with alternate lesson plans at the last moment and gave my comp class a listening […]

What year is it again?

Friday, April 20th, 2007

No…not another “I can’t believe this is the 21st century” post…something much simpler!
How do you say/read “2007″?
a) “Two thousand and seven”
b) “Twenty-oh-seven”
I’ve been reminding my students that the second is a perfectly acceptable alternative to the first.
Two reasons for doing this:
1) The second is one syllable shorter. (6:5)
2) The second avoids the ‘th’ sound, which […]

Methodological quandary

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I teach my students in my grammar classes that the English verb has six forms—the infinitive (Vinf), the general present (V+0), the third-person singular present (Vs), the past (Ved), present participle (Ving) and past participle (Ven). I point out that regular (weak) verbs have only four distinct forms (Vinf=V+0, Vs, Ved=Ven, and Ving) and that […]

Out of the mouths of babes…

Monday, January 8th, 2007

I’m working on proofreading senior theses again today and just came across this, by a student writing about Marilyn Manson:
The strongest fascist influence in America today is Christianity. Certainly there are many denominations of Christianity; for example, classified broadly, it can be divided into Catholicism and Protestantism, with the latter classifiable into smaller divisions. These […]

Mini-Composition: Photo Captions

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Every Tuesday, Gaijin Biker over on Riding Sun does a “Tuesday caption contest” (up to #70 now) in which he posts a photo and commenters try to come up with the best caption, with the winner announced on Fridays.
I pinched this idea and applied it in a task for my composition classes. In its current […]

Learning from students

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Sometimes we teachers can learn from our students as well.
Several of the seniors this year are again doing their thesis on topics or authors whom I know little or nothing about. (Elizabeth Gaskell, anyone? The development of the American fast food industry?)
And one of my second-year composition students has written about an art exhibition she […]

Why our e-Learning is a failure

Friday, July 21st, 2006

The short answer: because of an almost total lack of support from the university and other English faculty.
Minimal possible technical assistance from the former, no content provision and little interest from the latter.
I have learned that some things in this world just aren’t worth the hassle.
Doing anything extra for IbaDai is rapidly starting to […]

Calling All English-Speakers In-country and Abroad!

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Something came up in this morning’s graduate English Conversation class that threw me and left me at a loss for words.
Specific words. Having to do with a certain trade.
One of the young women’s father is a tatami-ya. But not the kind that makes tatami mats. The kind that goes to people’s houses and measures the […]

My dignity under attack

Friday, May 26th, 2006

It began innocently enough, when I introduced my class of first-years to the new chatrooms on our website (my translations of Japanese bits & notes in square brackets)…






Konnichiwa! [Good day!]



Oyasuminasai [Good night!]



Hello, everybody!















Hello! How are […]


Sunday, May 7th, 2006

Something else that’s been making the Ole Sphinx tweetch lately is the Fuji Film commerical with Yoko Ono.
Not because it features Yoko. I don’t have a problem with Yoko. (I don’t lay the blame for the Beatles break-up at her feet, for example.) In fact, I rather sort of like her more than not. I […]

Confounding the wise?

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

In the last month or so I’ve come across what seem to be two variants of the same anecdote, the second just today in a post on Coroloro’s Xanga blog:
One day a 6 year old girl was sitting in a classroom. The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children. The teacher asked a […]

Wiki Comp

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

After work last night Bob and I had a biatch ‘n’ chuckle session in my office over coffee, covering the usual wide range of topics, eventually including using blogs and wikis in composition classes. I ended up not doing so this semester (as originally planned), but did last semester in my EAP class. (Quick summary, […]

Teaching the Controversy

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Monado, in a comment on Pharyngula, offers the following suggestion:
Bite back! Advocate teaching the controversy about the historicity of Jesus and the probability that miracles could occur, given the laws of science.
Sounds like an idea to me.
You know the IDiots wouldn’t like it. Not one bit. And I bet it wouldn’t be any time at […]

Dropping the ball

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

At work. I did. In a big way. And feel pretty crappy about it.
It’s (probably?) not one of those things that ends up being irreparably damaging to my or anyone else’s future, but it has most likely destroyed any relationship of trust between myself and a group of my students.
Life goes on, of course….